President George Washington



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UNIT 11: POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS IN THE EARLY REPUBLIC

I Introduction

  1. President George Washington

1) Continental Army General

2) lured out of retirement to serve as the nation’s first president

3) said he didn’t really want to do it

4) felt similar to a criminal going to his execution

5) April 30, 1789 = took the oath of office

6) addressed both houses of Congress to work with him

7) was very nervous

  1. Cabinet

  1. John Adams

aa) Vice President

  1. Henry Knox

aa) close friend and adviser of Washington

bb) became Secretary of War

cc) Boston bookseller and former general

  1. Alexander Hamilton

aa) Secretary of the Treasury

bb) former member of the Continental Army

cc) moved with precision and dressed with great care (very preppy)

dd) doer who moved briskly from task to task

4) Thomas Jefferson

aa) Secretary of State

bb) managed relations between the United States and other countries

cc) member of the Continental Congress

dd) slouchy with sloppy with clothes

ee) a thinker who took time to explore ideas

5) Their rivalry (fighting/arguments) eventually gave rise to the nation’s first political parties, which

had different visions for the new nation.


II Launching the New Govt

  1. The Debate over Washington’s Title

  1. Congress was deeply divided

  2. some members were eager to build a strong national govt

  3. others wanted a limited amount of pwr for the nat’l govt

  4. differences showed up immediately in a debate over what title to use when addressing the president

  5. Adams said: Your Excellency

aa) strong nat’l govt supporters agreed



  1. others said: such titles smelled of royalty and had no place in a democracy

  2. debate ended: Washington said to call him “Mr. President



  1. Setting Up the Executive Branch

  1. Congress = had to create executive departments

  2. Washington was right = arguments broke out at once over what those departments should be and what powers they should have

  3. were chosen by Washington

  4. became known as The President’s Cabinet

  5. approved three depts:

aa) Department of State

  1. set up to handle relations with other countries

  2. headed by Thomas Jefferson



bb) Department of War

  1. established to defend the nation

  2. headed by Henry Knox


cc) Treasury Department

  1. began to oversee the nation’s finances (the money that a person, company, or nation has, and how it is

managed)

  1. headed by Alexander Hamilton




  1. Additional Positions Created by Congress

aa) Attorney General: to serve as the president’s legal adviser

bb) Postmaster General: to head the postal system
III Washington as President

  1. Lack of Funds

1) most critical problem facing the new govt.

2) national treasury was empty

3) Congress

aa) had the power to raise funds through taxes

bb) members argued endlessly about what to tax and by how much

cc) by 1791 = agreed to place an excise tax (a tax on the production or sale of a product) on whiskey and

other luxury goods such as carriages



  1. Whiskey Rebellion

1) settlers living west of the Appalachian Mountains (in the ORV) reacted angrily to the tax

2) farmers = too costly to transport their grain across the mountains to sell in eastern cities

aa) distilled their bulky wheat into whiskey

bb) shipped more cheaply

cc) complained that the tax made their whiskey too expensive

dd) refused to pay it

3) Congress: lowered the excise tax in 1793

aa) most farmers began to pay up

bb) not the tax rebels of western Pennsylvania


  1. 1794 = Whiskey Boys = tarred and feathered tax collectors who tried to enforce the law




  1. Hamilton & Washington:

aa) saw the Whiskey Rebellion (a revolt by farmers in 1794 agst the excise tax on whiskey) as a threat to the

authority of the national govt



bb) Hamilton urged Washington to send 13,000 state militia troops across the mts to crush the rebels

cc) rebellion was finally crushed

dd) Jefferson thought the militia being sent was foolish

ee) even worse = upset that Hamilton was prepared to violate people’s liberties by using armed force

to put down opposition to government policies (this is what a DICTATOR would do)




  1. The French Revolution

  1. at the same time as the Whiskey Rebellion = the nation was caught up in a debate over events in

France

2) 1789 = French people rebelled against their king

3) leaders of the French Revolution = dreamed of building a nation based on “liberty, equality, and

fraternity (brotherhood)

4) 3 yrs later = France became a republic and declared “a war of all peoples against all kings”

5) news from France caused supporters of the revolution to change their opinion
NOT a good thing

6) ) many Americans = thrilled by the French Revolution

7) France’s revolutionary government began beheading wealthy nobles

aa) some 20,000 men, women, and children were killed
8) Jefferson

aa) very excited about France becoming a republic

bb) he and followers: began calling themselves Democratic-Republicans (or simply

Republicans)

cc) Republicans saw the French Revolution as part of a great crusade for democracy

9) Hamilton

aa) he and his followers: called themselves Federalists

bb) most were wealthy

cc) HORRIFIED by the bloodshed in France

dd) scared that what happened to the wealthy families in France would happen to them
IV Washington’s Farewell Address

  1. Keeping the Nation Together

1) Washington decided to run again for a second term = 1792

2) too much trouble between the Democratic-Republicans and Federalists

3) end of second term: announced he would NOT run again

4) before leaving office: prepared a message that became known as Washington’s Farewell Address

aa) parting message to the nation

bb) 1796

cc) warned of threats to the nation’s future

dd) reminded Americans of all that bound them together as a people

ee) Quote: “With slight shades of difference,” he said, “you have the same religion, manners,

habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed



together.”

ff) warned against the dangers of passionate loyalty to parties

gg) said fighting between parties could tear the young nation apart

hh) had much to be proud of as he left office

ii) new government was up and running

jj) nation was growing so fast = added three new states: Kentucky, Tennessee, and Vermont

kk) steered his government safely through quarrelsome time

ll) left the nation united and at peace

V Alexander Hamilton and the Federalist Party

  1. Washington’s warnings = did not stop the arguing/rise of the political parties

  1. Federalist Party = first one

aa) came about during the debates over ratifying the Constitution

bb) Alexander Hamilton = most influential leader

  1. Hamilton’s Background

  1. born in the West Indies and raised on the Caribbean island of St. Croix

  2. wrote an article at age 13 about a devastating hurricane on the island

  3. impressed ppl

  4. sent to New York to get an education

  5. jumped on this due to his background

  6. never looked back

  7. had a VERY bad temper when angered

  8. nice for the most part

  9. no money or family connections

  10. relied on ability, ambition, & charm

  11. Washington spotted his talents early in the Am Rev

  12. made him his personal assistant = aided-camp

  13. married Elizabeth Schuyler (very wealthy/powerful family with political backing)

  14. elected to represent New York in Congress after the war

  15. served as delegate fr NY to the Constitutional Convention



  1. View of Human Nature

  1. views shaped by war experiences

  2. had seen people put their own interests and desire for personal profit above the cause of patriotism and the needs of the country

  3. quote:Every man ought to be supposed a knave [scoundrel],” he concluded, “and to have no other end [goal] in all his actions, but private interest.”

  4. MOST Federalists = shared Hamilton’s view that people were basically selfish and out for themselves

  5. distrusted any system of government that gave too much power to “the mob,” or the common people

  6. this could only lead to “error, confusion, and instability”




  1. Views on Government

  1. Federalists believed = “the best people” —educated, wealthy, public-spirited men like themselves—should run the country

  2. THEY had = time, education, and background to run the country wisely

  3. decided for the “general good” – not just themselves

  4. QUOTE: “Those who own the country,” said Federalist John Jay bluntly, “ought to govern it.”

  5. favored a strong national government

  6. hoped to use the new government’s powers under the Constitution to

aa) unite the quarreling states

bb) keep order among the people


  1. rights of states were not nearly as important as national power and unity

  2. had no deep loyalty to any state

  3. his country was not New York = but the United States of America

  4. hoped to see his adopted country become a great and powerful nation




  1. Views on the Economy

  1. Hamilton’s dream of national greatness = depended on the United States developing a strong economy

  2. 1790 = nation’s economy still based mainly on agriculture

  3. wanted to expand the economy and increase the nation’s wealth = by using the power of the federal government to promote business, manufacturing, and trade

  4. first: new nation needed to begin paying off the huge debts that Congress and the states had accumulated (to increase in quantity or size over time) during the American Revolution

  5. 1790 = Hamilton presented Congress with a plan to pay off all war debts quickly

Notice: The U.S. is a brand new country and ALREADY splitting between the Northern views and Southern view!!!

What is this foreshadowing?

  1. said govt would lose respect both at home and abroad if not

  2. South = HATED this idea

aa) most southerners: already paid their war debts

bb) saw little reason to help Northern states to pay their debts


  1. Nation’s Capital

  1. linked this to another issue

  2. BOTH Northerners & Southerners: wanted the capital to be located in their section of the country

  3. BRIBERY: promised = to support a location in the South if southerners would support his debt plan

  4. debt plan was passed

  5. nation’s new capital

  1. District of Columbia

  2. located in the South on the Potomac River between Maryland and Virginia




  1. National Bank

  1. Hamilton = asked Congress to establish a national bank

  2. said = would help the govt by collecting taxes and keeping those funds safe

  3. would print paper money backed by the government, giving the nation a stable currency (money)

  4. would make loans to businesspeople to build new factories and ships

  5. business and trade would expand

  6. Americans would be better off

  7. proposal ran into heavy opposition (ppl who didn’t agree)

aa) Democratic Republicans (TJ): said Congress didn’t have this right based on the

Constitution

bb) said Congress could exercise only those powers specifically listed in the Constitution

  1. Hamilton supported a loose construction (broad interpretation) of the Constitution = Congress has powers beyond those specifically given in the Constitution

aa) said the elastic clause allowed Congress to “make all laws which shall be necessary and

proper” for carrying out its listed powers



  1. collecting taxes was one of those powers

  2. Congress = could set up a bank to help the government with tax collection




  1. lots of debate

  2. Congress established the bank

  3. 1791 = the Bank of the United States = helped the nation’s economy grow and prosper




  1. Views on Great Britain and France

  1. Federalists (A H) sided with Great Britain during the French Revolution

  2. many depended on trade with GB for their businesses

  3. others supported the organization of GB

  4. wanted the US to be more like them

  5. Goal: be a pwrfl/respected nation who could defend itself agst any enemy

VI Thomas Jefferson and the Democratic-Republican Party

  1. Jefferson Is Angry

1) felt that almost everything Hamilton did in the name of putting the United States on the path to

greatness was a step down the road to ruin



2) two men held very different views on almost everything

  1. Personal Background

  1. born in Virginia

  2. from an old and respected family

  3. one of ten children

  4. very gifted and talented / very curious about everything

  5. boy = learned to ride, hunt, sing, dance, and play the violin

  6. later = carried a violin with him in all his travels

  7. entered college at 16

  8. spoke Greek and Latin as a teen

  9. knew something about everything

  10. inherited land from his father

  11. became a Virginian tobacco planter

  12. had many slaves

  13. later entered VA politics

aa) lacked the ability to make stirring speeches

bb) BUT: wrote eloquently (express ideas or feelings in a way that is moving and well-spoken) with a pen


  1. View of Human Nature

  1. better views about ppl than Hamilton

  2. assumed that informed citizens could make good decisions for themselves and their country

  3. had great faith in the goodness and wisdom of people who worked the soil—farmers and planters like himself




  1. Views on Government

  1. Democratic-Republicans = favored democracy over any other form of govt.

  2. had no patience with the Federalists’ view that only the “best people” should rule

  3. said: Fed.’s view came dangerously close to monarchy, or rule by a king

  4. believed: the best government was the one that governed the least

  5. thought: a small government with limited powers was most likely to leave ppl alone to enjoy the blessings of liberty

  6. wanted a strict construction/interpretation of the Constitution: a narrow interpretation of the Constitution, meaning that Congress has only those powers specifically given in the Constitution

  7. insisted that the Constitution meant exactly what it said, no more and no less

  8. maintained: any addition to the powers listed in the document, such as the creation of a national bank, was unconstitutional and dangerous

  9. states’ rights were more important than nat’l rights




  1. Views on the Economy

  1. country man

  2. believed the nation’s future lay with plain, Republican farmers

  3. Democratic-Republicans favored an economy based on agriculture

  4. opposed any measures designed to encourage the growth of business and manufacturing

  5. national bank was not only unconstitutional but against farmers

  6. said bank loaned money to businesses but not farmers to buy land




  1. Views on Great Britain and France

  1. wanted France to be democratic, BUT not in a heated war

  2. did NOT side with GB

  3. called Federalists “British bootlickers”

  4. Democratic-Republicans newspaper implied that Feds were weak and eager to please the British

  5. Most Democratic-Republicans continued to support France

  6. regretted the bloodshed

  7. argued that the loss of a few thousand aristocrats was a small price to pay for freedom




  1. Edmond Genêt

  1. 1793: French govt sent Edmond Genêt (zhuh-NAY) to the United States

  2. new official representative = liason = middle man

  3. preferred to be called “Citizen Genêt

  4. French revolutionaries = adopted this title to emphasize the equality of all people

  5. MISSION: to convince Americans they should join France in its war against GB

  6. Democratic-Republicans = welcomed Citizen Genêt as a conquering hero

  7. large crowds cheered him as he traveled about the country

  8. Genêt formally presented himself to President George Washington

  9. expected another warm and enthusiastic reception

  10. Washington: did not want to be drawn into war with Great Britain

aa) response to Genêt was cool and dignified


  1. Genêt = began making speeches against the president

  2. attacks on Washington brought thousands of Genêt’s supporters into Philadelphia’s streets

  3. protesters threatened to drag Washington out of his house

  4. wanted to declare war in favor of the French revolution

  5. Jefferson got angry – even though he loved France

  6. asked the French government to recall its troublesome representative

VII The Presidency of John Adams

  1. Election of 1796

  1. framers thought the Electoral College would simply choose the two best leaders for president and vice president

  2. worked this way in the first two elections

  3. not this time

  4. 1796 = VP Adams won presidency by THREE votes against DR Thomas Jefferson

  5. Adams: supported by federalists lawyers, merchants, ship owners, and business ppl in the North

  6. Jefferson: supported by farmers in the South and West

  7. two separate parties must work together



  1. The Alien and Sedition Acts

1) Adams tried to work with Jefferson

2) party violence made this almost impossible

3) Federalists in Congress passed four controversial laws known as the Alien and Sedition Acts.

aa) argued = these laws were needed as protection against foreigners who might threaten the

nation


bb) real purpose = to make life difficult for the Federalists’ rivals

cc) Three of the laws = the Alien Acts = were aimed at aliens, or noncitizens

  1. lengthened the time it took for an immigrant to become a citizen w/the right to vote

(aaa) went from 5 to 14 yrs

(bbb) Jefferson saw this as an attack b/c most immigrants were Dem-Reps.

  1. allowed the president to jail aliens suspected of activities that threatened govt.



  1. allowed the president to deport aliens suspected of activities that threatened govt.

(aaa) laws were never enforced

(bbb) did frighten a number of French spies and troublemakers

(ccc) they left the country

  1. Sedition Act: made sedition (the crime of encouraging rebellion agst the govt) a crime

(aaa) sedition = “printing, uttering, or publishing any false, scandalous and malicious

(hateful) writing” against the government, Congress, or the president



(bbb) Alexander Hamilton = approved of this b/c it would punish only those who

published lies intended to destroy the govt.



(ccc) however: Sedition Act = used to punish Democratic-Republican newspaper

editors who insulted President Adams in print



(ddd) example: called Adams = “old, querulous [whiny], bald, blind, crippled,

toothless Adams”



  1. 25 ppl were arrested under the new law

  2. 10 convicted of printing seditious opinions



  1. The Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions

  1. Dem-Reps = viewed the Sedition Act as an attack on the rights of free speech and free press

10th Amdmt

1st Amdmt



  1. federal govt enforced it

  2. DRs looked to the states to protect these freedoms

  3. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison = drew up a set of resolutions (statements of a formal decisions agreed on by a group) opposing the Alien and Sedition Acts

  4. sent them to state legislatures for approval

  5. argued that Congress had gone beyond the Constitution in passing these acts

  6. states had a duty to nullify (verb: to refuse to recognize a federal law. This action by a state is called nullification: noun) the laws = declare them to be without legal force

  7. only two states adopted this: Virginia & Kentucky

  8. VA & KY Resolutions: states’ rights = this has nothing to do w/fed. Govt (Amdmt 10)

  9. protest died out = but not forgotten

  10. would be raised and tested again in the years ahead




  1. The New National Capital

  1. 1800 = federal govt moved from “The President’s House” in Philadelphia to the city of Washington in the District of Columbia

  2. most govt buildings were still in progress

  3. new “White House” was still not finished

  4. Abigail Adams was amazed at how big it was – although unfinished

  5. used the large East Room for hanging laundry to dry

  6. although short stay: Adams and Abigail were the first to live there

VIII The Election of 1800

  1. Sides of the Election

  1. Federalists: nominated John Adams for P and Charles Pinckney of SC as VP

aa) some Federalists = preferred Alexander Hamilton as their presidential candidate

bb) Caribbean-born = not eligible to run = not natural-born citizen

  1. Dem-Reps: nominated Thomas Jefferson for P and Aaron Burr of NY as VP



  1. The Campaign

  1. candidates outlined their campaign issues early

  2. Jefferson supported the Constitution and states’ rights

aa) promised to run a “frugal and simple” government

bb) Dem-Rep newspapers attacked Adams as a tyrant

cc) accused him of wanting to turn the nation into a monarchy so that his children could follow

him on the presidential throne





  1. Adams ran on his record of peace and prosperity

aa) Federalist newspapers called Jefferson an atheist (someone who denies the existence of God)

bb) said Jefferson would “destroy religion, introduce immorality, and loosen all the bonds of

society”


cc) some elderly Federalists were so frightened that they buried their Bibles for safe-keeping


  1. campaign = centered more on insults than on issues

  2. Needless to say, this was the end of a long time friendship that wouldn’t be repaired until the 1820s before both men died.




  1. The Divided Federalists

  1. Hamilton and his supporters: refused to support Adams because of disagreements over the president’s foreign policy

  2. Hamilton worked behind the scenes = to convince the men chosen for the Electoral College to cast their presidential ballots for Pinckney over Adams

  3. felt he could manipulate Pinckney so he could personally guide the US his way

  4. Pinckney seemed more likely to value Hamilton’s advice and his firm Federalist principles

  5. Adams did not like Hamilton

  6. felt Washington had put too much faith in Hamilton


IX A Deadlock and a New Amendment

  1. Electoral College

  1. clear that John Adams had lost the election

  2. Constitution says: each elector cast two votes

aa) idea that the candidate finishing second would be vice president

  1. ALL D/Rs electors voted for Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr

  2. result = a tie between them



  1. Breaking the Tie

  1. Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution

aa) if two candidates each received a majority of the electoral votes but are tied = House of

Representatives to determine which one would be President



bb) each state has one vote

2) decision rested on Federalist-controlled House of Representatives

3) 35 ballots cast over 6 days

4) neither candidate received a majority

5) Burr

aa) could have told his supporters in the House to elect Jefferson president

bb) this is what the DR party wanted

cc) BUT: he didn’t and remained silent bc HE wanted to be president

6) Alexander Hamilton = hated Burr

aa) advised Federalists in Congress that Jefferson was the safer choice

C) The 12th Amendment

1) 1804

2) 12th Amendment added to the Constitution

3) to prevent such ties

4) amendment calls for the Electoral College to

cast separate ballots for president and vice

president

5) If no presidential candidate receives a majority

of electoral votes = the House of Reps chooses

a president from the top three candidates

6) If no candidate for vice president receives a

majority = the Senate chooses the VP




  1. 36th ballot = Jefferson won



C) Peace instead of a Revolution

1) election of 1800 = victory for Jefferson and Dem-Republican Party

2) also a victory for the new system of government established by the Constitution

3) in other countries = power changed hands by war or revolution (tyranny)

4) in the United States = power passed from one group to another without a single shot

being fired
X Summary

  • In this chapter, you read about the beginnings of political parties in the United States.



  • The New Government Under Washington George Washington took office as president in 1789. In 1794, he ended the Whiskey Rebellion, a farmers’ protest against taxes.




  • Alexander Hamilton and the Federalists Hamilton and the Federalists favored a strong national government. They supported a loose construction of the Constitution. They also favored using the government’s power to support business, manufacturing, and trade. Alarmed by the violence of the French Revolution, the Federalists favored Great Britain in its war with France.




  • Thomas Jefferson and the Republicans Jefferson and the Republicans championed states’ rights and an economy based on agriculture. They supported a strict construction of the Constitution. Republicans saw the French Revolution as a step toward democracy and attacked the Federalists’ support for Great Britain.




  • The Presidency of John Adams During Adams’s presidency, Federalists used the Alien and Sedition Acts to attack Republicans. In response, Republicans urged states to nullify these laws.




  • The Election of 1800 and the Twelfth Amendment Adams lost the election of 1800 to Thomas Jefferson after the Federalists broke a tie vote between Jefferson and Aaron Burr. In 1804, the Twelfth Amendment was added to the Constitution.


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